History

 

The Children’s Home of Highlands Presbytery was first envisioned and organized by Dr. George H. Gilmer, Superintendent of Home Missions of Abingdon Presbytery in the early 1900’s.  The Girls’ Industrial School was opened September 3, 1919 under the direction of Miss Charlotte Webb at Foster Falls.  A large brick building , originally built as a summer resort hotel for the mining officials, served the Girls’ Industrial School for many years.

 

In the early 1930’s, it was decided to include boys in the program so that families would not have to be separated and so the Girls’ Industrial School became the Children’s Home of Abingdon Presbytery.   The boys and girls attended public schools in Wythe County and worshipped at the Galena Presbyterian Church at Max Meadows.  In September, 1939, one floor of the main building was destroyed by fire.  This was a terrific financial blow to the Home and only because of the sacrificial gifts from laymen in the area was the institution saved at this time.  The necessary funds were secured, the building restored and the Home continued at Foster Falls until the 1960’s.

 

In the late 1950’s, the Board determined that the buildings were deteriorated beyond remodeling.  The home was located several miles from shopping and medical services and it was felt that relocation in a larger community would enable more participation in school and community activities.  After consultation with Group Child Care Consultant Services of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Board was convinced that relocation was the most practical course.  Funds were raised to purchase the 89 acre Green Meadows Farm on the southwest edge of Wytheville. 

 

We moved to our current campus in 1962  and continue our mission of “Giving Children’s Hope and Purpose for the Future” as we reach out to help children and families in need.

 

1919               Home began at Foster Falls as a Refining School for Girls

 

1930’s            Changed from school to Children’s Home for both girls and boys

 

1939               Main Building Burned at Foster Falls

 

1962               Moved Children’s Home to Wytheville Campus

 

1964               Expanded Program to include another cottage and Adminisration Building

 

1967               Built Eckman Chapel

 

1974               Built Manse               

 

1992               Began On-Campus School Program

 

1993               Built Lamb Center

 

1994               Celebrated 75th Anniversary

                        Refocused Ministry on Child Care for Abused and Neglected Children

 

1998               Purchased the former Family Resource Building which was built on our campus

 

2000               Partnered with Minnick School Program  on campus

 

2003               Fire in Gilmer Cottage – moved boys cottage to former family resource center building.                       

 

2003               McGavock Center built and opened to house our educational, recreational and food services programs

 

2004               Launched New Dawn Society Program

 

2009               90th Anniversary of PCHH of the Highlands

 

2009               Launched Church Covenant and Guardian Angel Programs

 

 

Even though the Home as suffered from it’s share of hurdles over the years, the love and passion to help children who have been abused and neglected has been evident throughout this ministry.  We have been blessed to have dedicated staff, board of directors and donors who were insistent that we continue this ministry.  We count our blessings daily as we provide the children God has entrusted to us the best care possible.